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St. Peter Claver

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PCA526 Package of 25 icon holy cards


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Size (in inches):

3 x 5

Item Details:

For those who combat contemporary slavery and care for victims, we find inspiration in the life and work of St. Peter Claver, a Jesuit from Spain who came to the new world in 1610 and cared for African slaves for 40 years. Even as they entered into the port of Cartagena, St. Peter Claver would row out to the ships and start ministering to the slaves who had survived the trip.  In caring for victims and survivors of slavery, St. Peter Claver understood the need to address their physical needs and that providing food and medicine was often more effective to communicate the love of God than just preaching. He was quoted as often saying "We must speak to them with our hands before we try to speak to them with our lips."

This icon was commissioned in 2011 after Br. Claude Lane’s completion of the icon of St. Josephine Bakhita, the patron saint of victims and survivors of human trafficking and slavery. Just as victims and survivors need the grace of God to carry on and heal, so those who care for them need the grace of God to persevere in their dedication to this cause.

Icon holy cards are 3" x 5", a convenient size for use as gifts or bookmarks. The backs are blank except for a faint colophon at the bottom, leaving plenty of room for custom imprinting with your own message.

Theology and Symbolism

The icon of St. Peter Claver, SJ was designed to serve as a companion piece to the icon of St. Josephine Bakhita.  The size, colors, and format of the saints' bodies are matching.  The visage of St. Peter is derived from contemporary etchings, but perhaps a little younger, making him appear to be in his early thirties, about the age of Christ.  He wears the typical habit of a Jesuit of the 17th century, including a high collar and a mantle or cape.  In his hand he holds a seashell, a symbol of the thousands of black slaves he baptized.  His other hand is raised in blessing, creating with his fingers the ancient monogram of the Greek letters of Christ’s name: IC XC.

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